Friday, 21 February 2014

Number 7 update

I recorded some snippets of our fantastic four nights in Devon with my on-loan art kit. We took a jigsaw to all do in odd moments, and I drew Claire starting it on the first evening. She looks like she is using her giant head to control her robotic claw to do something unidentifiable. But it was a quick sketch, and you can tell her hair is wet and her clothes are patterned, which is the main thing.

Same evening, tried a really quick sketch of Lola listening to her bedtime story. No ... all I can say is thank Christ she had her hands over her face, or she would have come out like Elephant Girl. Plus point: you can see it's a girl (long hair + dress = girl).

Next morning, while waiting for kettle to boil for tea, I attempted the view from the caravan window. Car park, mobile homes, cars and net curtains. Pencil. Very tricky with a dreary result - should have sat down and relaxed.

It was a really sunny day for February. I got a photo of a dog running along Paignton beach carrying a tennis ball, and drew the photo with a biro afterwards then added a bit of paint. I was pleased with how it turned out. Apart from drawing and painting, the good thing about this challenge has been noticing stuff I would never have noticed before – how a dog's limbs and muscles are arranged when it's running, the positioning of the eyes, how black the nose and lips are. I just don't look at dogs. Not to mention the legs of a pier, the sea, or how reflections work. It also captured a great day more than a photo could on its own. The green tennis ball theme continued later when we stopped a couple to ask them if they knew where we could find  some food.  As they were helping us, Freddie knocked what was clearly their old dog's 'comfort' tennis ball into a massive bramble patch. 'He's not going to get that, is he,' the man said very sadly.

A minute later, Lola was on the concrete path running next to the beach and I took a photo to get her against the really blue sky. The photo came out well, so I did a biro version then painted. Children's faces are hard – that was the main lesson – but it came out OK, especially the dress and hair. 

We had 15 minutes sitting on the Paignton to Dartmouth steam train before it went. I had a go at a church – St Andrews, as I've just looked up. It just looked like a series of lines and shapes until the very last couple of minutes. Top tip for drawing a church when you're in a rush: start with the windows and roof crosses.

And that was it. Only six pictures, but it made me want to do more drawing and learn how to paint, and it will make me look at the world in a different way. I will also do portrait commissions of children with ping-pong ball heads and dot eyes.


Molly Potter said...

Jimbo, you have a real talent but for some reason I don't think you have been exercising it in recent years....diverse yourself out sir and let us enjoy you. Reach harder! P.S. Kids' faces are all about proportions - wide eyes and low mouths or something (I don't know but I eavesdrop well)

jim_greenan said...

Thanks, Molly. Oh, and this is a little awkward, but that wide eyes and low mouths thing ... I, erm ... think that might just be Norfolk.

Molly Potter said...

No - they have it in the Fens too.